USC can’t keep pace with No. 5 Stanford in loss

USC center Angel Jackson is defended by Stanford forward Francesca Belibi.
USC center Angel Jackson, left, is defended by Stanford forward Francesca Belibi during the second half of the Trojans’ 86-59 loss Sunday.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

Stanford strives to be so unselfish passing the ball around it sometimes backfires.

Turnovers are still an issue with coach Tara VanDerveer, yet her Cardinal overcame those 18 mistakes by rebounding with energy and effort to create second chances and get out in transition.

Haley Jones had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Kiana Williams knocked down five 3-pointers on the way to 16 points, and No. 5 Stanford bounced back from consecutive defeats and its lone two losses of the season to beat USC 86-59 on Sunday.

“I think our team responded very well. We got on the glass, I think we had 50-plus rebounds. We had a lot of different people contribute,” VanDerveer said. “We’ve got to take care of the ball better, that was a problem.”


Freshman Cameron Brink grabbed nine rebounds and Anna Wilson seven boards and eight points as the Cardinal held a 53-22 advantage on the glass. Stanford took control with a 16-0 run spanning the first two quarters as USC went nearly 7 minutes without scoring.

Freshman Evan Mobley scored a season-best 25 points as USC prevailed 76-68 at California on Saturday night and ended a frustrating week with a win.

Jan. 23, 2021

The Cardinal (12-2, 9-2 Pac-12) lost their previous two games by a combined nine points, 77-72 in overtime at Colorado last weekend then 70-66 to UCLA on Friday night.

“It was huge,” Williams said of the importance she felt to lead. “Both the Colorado and UCLA game I think I could have done for my team, so we watched film so I took it upon myself, me and Alyssa (Jerome), the seniors, we had to put the hammer down. We haven’t lost three in a row. I think that’s what we did.”

Endiya Rogers scored 19 points to lead USC (6-7, 4-6), which had a shortened road trip to the Bay Area with Friday’s scheduled game at California postponed because of COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Bears program. It marked the second straight conference game postponed for the Trojans.

USC shot 8 of 16 in the first then went cold at 4 of 17 in the second, not scoring in the quarter until a putback by Jordan Sanders at the 6:51 mark.


The Cardinal won their 12th straight victory in the series. Stanford is temporarily playing it home games at Kaiser Permanente Arena, home of the Golden State Warriors G League affiliate, because of restrictions on sporting events and practices in Santa Clara County.

The Trojans made 7 of their initial 10 shots for a 16-13 lead late in the first but went scoreless over the final 3:42 of the period missing four shots as Stanford closed on a 7-0 run for a 22-18 lead.

“We haven’t rebounded well all year,” USC coach Mark Trakh said. “It’s something we’ve got to work on. They hit the boards really well and we’ve got to defend a little better obviously — 86 points and they shot 50% from the field.”

Big Picture

USC: F Alissa Pili went down hard with 3:02 remaining in the opening quarter and limped off favoring her troublesome right ankle and didn’t return. Trakh is hopeful it isn’t serious and she will be OK to play this coming week. Last season’s Pac-12 Freshman of the Year missed the first 10 games of the season with an injury to the same ankle. USC had an 8-0 run in the third quarter but it wasn’t enough to get the Trojans close. USC hasn’t scored more than 67 points the last 12 matchups with Stanford.

Up next

USC: Hosts Arizona on Friday.